Is there anything more crazy-fun than going to Costco between Thanksgiving and Christmas? I think not! First of all, you need to put on your big girl panties and gird yourself for the madding crowd. Personally, I rather enjoy the mad scramble as people ignore the “normal flow” and navigate their boat-sized shopping carts like a New York cab driver.
Starting with the grid locked parking lot, a great deal of equanimity is required. Drivers cruise the lanes like tiger sharks looking for prey. Since there is no preferred direction of travel, it’s common for drivers from both directions to aim for the same spot.
Coming from the newly designed gas station, we were funneled into the slowly moving carousel of parking space seekers. I spotted an empty space in the row next to the one we were in, but held out little hope that we could claim it before someone coming from the opposite direction spied it. At the end of the row, the line of vehicles making their way towards the exit blocked our progress, but since there was no oncoming traffic, I figured it was safe enough to bypass the outbound vehicles and scoot into the next row of parking spaces. Evidently, one of the gentlemen waiting in line to get to the exit, resented my scofflaw behavior and followed me, in spite of the fact that it took him away from his intended route. I saw him and assumed that he had also seen the vacant spot and intended to park, so I passed it by to allow him first access. I pulled into the next spot but, noooo, he was intent on enforcing the rules.
He pulled up behind me and leaned out of his window to inform me of my infraction. Of course, I said I was sorry but he responded, “What if I had not seen you and hit you?!” (never mind that he hadn’t signaled an intent to turn and had ample opportunity before I passed him)
Always irrepressible, I replied, “Then I would have been REALLY sorry.” Oh, dear, wrong response.
“Sorry doesn’t cut it!” he retorted with more vehemence than I thought was warranted. He followed up with some profane language and I realized that de-escalation was in order so I quit with the flippant replies.
Since my adorable great-niece was in the back seat, I briefly considered inflicting her charm on him, but thought better of it. A hostile jerk is in no way deserving of her supernatural charisma. I don’t think I’m biased when I say that this woman can melt the most unhappy man. By her definition, she “blows sunshine up his skirt”. And the reason she’s so successful is because she is sincere.
When my great niece turns her attention your way, she makes you feel like you are the most lovable person on the planet. Her interest in what you have to say is genuine and her enjoyment of your company feels like the real thing.
For a few minutes after the unpleasant encounter, we all felt a little deflated. After all, it’s sad to think that there are people driving around, seething, rather than enjoying the spirit of the season. But, once inside, we were caught up in the happy frenzy of material acquisition and the poor man was almost forgotten.